The Book on Boundaries
It sounds like a great book. On boundaries. A great subject.
So I pick up a copy at my library.
But the book is boring. It’s repetitive. It’s unhelpful.
Don’t I already know this stuff?
But if I do already know this material—on honoring boundaries—why am I still reading this book, thus ignoring my own boundaries?
What Buffett Said
There is a popular interview between Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Gates is asked what he’s learned from Buffett.
Gates replies that Buffett taught him to “fill his calendar with spaces.”
As Buffett listens, he reaches for his small paper calendar. He opens it to reveal all the empty spaces.
Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, says, “Time is the one thing no one can buy.”
Open Your Calendar
If you opened your calendar right now, would you see an overflowing of events, or lots of empty spaces?
If the pandemic taught us anything (and hopefully it taught us a lot of things!), it’s that we can manage with more empty spaces. That we actually need more empty spaces.
There’s a sweet spot between doing too much and not doing enough.
Have you found it?
Prioritize the Empty Spaces
For me, the sweet spot between too much and not enough is a moving target.
While I crave stillness, I still create an impossibly heavy to-do list every day.
So if I truly value empty space like I claim I do, why don’t I prioritize it more often?
Perhaps I don’t schedule more empty spaces because I value productivity more. I value efficiency more.
But in the end, which is really more important?
Practice Being Uncomfortable
So this week, I promise to add more X’s on my daily calendar to indicate open spaces.
It will make me uncomfortable. I will miss out on doing some things that I want to get done.
But learning to live with the discomfort of the unfinished is a valuable skill, too.
For people like me who feel compelled to finish projects, even when they are no longer worth finishing, practicing the skill of walking away—of releasing—may be more valuable than the skill of persevering to the end.
Put the Book Away
So the book on boundaries? I stopped reading it. Right there around page 32.
I removed my bookmark, closed the book, and placed it in the return basket.
To NOT finish a book I start always feels like a small victory for me.
It’s a practice of valuing my own boundaries. Boundaries of interest, of time, of worth.
Perhaps I can learn a lesson from Warren Buffett, too. Including filling my calendar with more spaces.
Creating more empty spaces coincides with my One Word for 2022, Release.
Read more about time:
- How to Win Your Fight with Time . . . in your four thousand weeks
The elevator was stuck on the 8th floor. I didn’t know D was dying on the 3rd. Maybe through surrender we can win our fight with time?
- It’s Way Past Time – Why I Gave Up Gone with the Wind
I saw the book still on my bookshelf. What else is it past time for?
- Your Time with God? It’s Not Just For You
She called from the airport. I thought the morning lesson had been meant just for me. I was wrong.
- What Time Is It? Now
Is focusing on the now always wise? How can we find balance between thinking about the past, present, and future?
I err on finishing even when it’s not necessary, but others err on NOT finishing even when they want to. Which side do you lean toward? What helps you find your sweet spot?
- Romans 8:37 – Memory Verse for July 10-16, 2022
- Sometimes You Do Nothing